Why 3%?

As a network, we’ve developed a rigorous screening process to identify the best. We’re engineers and designers, and we look for great problem solvers with personality and drive — the types of people we want to work with (and learn from) ourselves.

Of the thousands of applications Toptal sees each month, typically fewer than 3% are accepted.

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The Toptal Screening Process


Language & Personality

The first step in the screening process is a comprehensive language, personality, and communication interview. Candidates must be able to read, write, and speak English extremely well. We also probe into the inner depths of personality traits, looking for passionate and driven individuals who are hands-on and fully engaged in their work.
26.4% of applicants pass

In-Depth Skill Review

Next we check for computer science or design fundamentals, problem solving ability, and intellect through timed algorithm tests or portfolio reviews. We typically only accept candidates with exceptional portfolios or test results.
7.4% of applicants pass

Live Screening

Each candidate is screened by at least two senior Toptal engineers or designers. Each screener will provide specific live exercises that cover core topics within the candidate’s primary area of expertise. We look at problem solving ability, engineering or design experience, communication ability, and creativity.
3.6% of applicants pass

Test Projects

Each candidate is assigned a test project to see how it all adds up. Test projects provide real-world scenarios for candidates to demonstrate engineering or design competence, thoroughness, professionalism, and integrity over what is typically 1-3 weeks.
3.2% of applicants pass

Continued Excellence

Toptalers are expected to maintain a perfect track record while working with clients. We do not tolerate sub-par work or poor communication for any reason.
3.0% of applicants pass
The Top 3%
Everyone at Toptal is a senior developer or designer. There are Toptalers from MIT, CERN, and Google, as well as Django committers, Top 100 Rails contributors, leading global designers and art directors, professors, and more. We are great problem-solvers who value integrity, and top companies rely on us for their most important projects.